Peru is a country in South America, located on the western side of that continent, encompassing a part of the Andes mountain belt that runs the length of South America, and facing the South Pacific Ocean.
Peru shares its borders with Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil, and Bolivia to the east and Chile to the south.
What makes this country stand out among all the other countries in the world are its unsurpassed cultural diversity and history.
The archaeological heritage of pre-Columbian cultures and the nexus of the ancient Inca’s empire attract the true adventure lovers to this country.
Peru’s history will leave you in awe as will its colonial architecture and the gorgeous landscapes that vary from region to region.
Peru is also brimming with wildlife and what kind of wildlife it is! It has 84 of the earth’s 104 known life zones, which makes this country home to such rare creatures as pink dolphins, primates, jaguars, giant river otters and as many as 4,000 types of butterflies.
Warnings & Dangers in Peru
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Overall, Peru is somewhat safe to visit, though it has many dangers and is ridden with crime. You should be aware that tourist hotspots and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists on the streets, too.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Transportation mostly safe and reliable but you should be very careful about public transport and buses as you might end up being robbed. Always call a reliable taxi instead of hailing one on the streets.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets are a serious concern in Peru, as is the violent crime and you should exercise caution and keep your money and your valuables elsewhere, like in hidden pockets of your clothes and never ever keep all of your money in the same place.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to natural disasters, there is a risk of landslides and flooding. This usually happens during heavy rains and often causes public transportation to suddenly stop. Peru also has some volcanic activities, and the volcanoes Ubinas and Sabancaya have been known to erupt: recently, it has happened in 2016.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
There is also the issue of violent crime, muggings, "express kidnappings" where people are taken and driven from one ATM to another until they withdraw all their money from their account. Then there are "struggle muggings" in Cusco, Arequipa, and Lima during which tourists are put in a chokehold from behind and stolen from while unconscious. Be very, very careful when in Peru, avoid poorly lit and deserted areas and remain vigilant everywhere else.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The risks of terrorist attacks in Peru are low, but since there's a chance that areas in the Southern Highlands such as San Martin, Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Ucayali, Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac might shelter members of the Shining Path terrorist group, attacks shouldn't be ruled out. It is important that you remain vigilant at all times.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
There is a high risk of getting scammed in Peru. Be wary of people lurking around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Many women have traveled to Peru alone and had nothing but a great time. However, this country isn't the safest in terms of females traveling solo since there have been reports of women being attacked or shamed, so be careful, especially at night and apply precaution measures at all times and avoid dark and empty streets and locations.
So... How Safe Is Peru Really?
Even though it has largely improved, crime in Peru is a serious issue which makes Peru relatively unsafe.
The greatest problem in this country is poverty, and where there’s poverty, there’s also petty theft.
The main tactic of pickpockets is making up various ways to distract tourists, like an old woman spilling something on you, falling in front of you, or dropping something in front of your feet.
Then someone else cuts your bag open with a razor, or simply swoop and grab your entire bag and you’re left penniless.
Then there’s the issue of “express kidnappings” during which tourists are held hostage and driven around the city from one ATM to another until they withdraw all their money.
Sometimes they are released quickly and sometimes they’re held captive until the account is positively emptied.
But petty crime is not the only thing to fear in Peru.
The Sacsayhuaman ruins overlooking Cusco are notorious for muggings.
If you plan on visiting them during sunset or sunrise because of the gorgeous view they offer, keep in mind that this is when the local banditos operate here.
Always make sure you’re in a group when visiting these ruins.
How Does Peru Compare?
- Visas - Most countries do not need a visa in order to enter Peru. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your date of departure from Peru. Keep in mind that your stamp is valid for 30 days, though the real limit is for 180. In this case, just explain to the immigration officials that you need more than 30 days and show them your return ticket. You may even get a so-called Tarjeta Andina de Migración, which you will have to return upon your exit from Peru. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Sol is the official currency in Peru, but many places accept US dollars. ATMs are available in nearly every city and town in Peru, as well as major establishments. You are advised to exchange money in exchange offices as they often give a slightly better rate than banks.
- Weather - Due to Peru's diverse geography, the weather varies from region to region. When it's warm on the coast, it can be extremely cold in the mountains while the weather can be completely different in the jungle areas. In return, winter lasts from June to September on the coastal regions, during which time the mountainous areas are sunny and warm, though still cold at night. This is, for the most part, the best time to visit most regions.
- Airports - Jorge Chávez International Airport is Peru's main international and domestic airport. It is located in Callao, 11 km from Lima, Peru's capital.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Peru, because it would cover not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Peru Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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47 Reviews on Peru
MIRAFLORES,LIMA -PERU., IS THE MOST SAFE PLACE ALSO BY NIGHT., MORE SAFE THAN EUROPE AT NIGHT….IN ALL THE DISTRICT ARE 24 HOURS POLICE AND PRIVATE POLICE…SHOPS, CASINOS,RESTAURANTS, DISCO ,ETC.. 24 HOURS!..I M FROM ITALY.
Article showing crime is on high rate.. You are saying safest place
PERU WAS WONDERFUL, PEOPLE VERY POLITE AND HELPFUL. I WAS THERE THREE TIMES AND WE ARE PLANNING TO VISIT MACHU PICHU NEXT YEAR. THE FOOD IS DELICIOUSLY AND HAVE MANY POLICE EVERY WHERE.
Peru is safe
I have been to Peru and I have to say this article is bull. It says Peru is not safe but when I went there the locals were such nice people and greeted me warmly. The only thing I will say is true is pickpockets, you need to look out for those. I highly recommend going to Peru as it is beautiful
naw, maybe it’s bc u don’t visit peru too often, as someone who has lived there for most of my life i’d say this article is a little too soft lmao
no place is safe honey <3 maybe if you like…went to the most common places Peruvian people visited you'd know
I moved to Peru and lived here for 3 years in 2007 to 2010 and returned to live in Peru in 2018 and am here still in June 2021 with no intention to leave. Peru is safe but the one point I is the use of taxis in Lima. I was robbed at gun point by the driver and 2 assistants he had hidden in the trunk. I was clobbered with the gun,,,they took my wallet my money my glasses my watch stuck hands where hands should not go in case i was hiding anything and there me out on a high way miles from home. I had used street taxis always there are many of them …but I learned when they quote a deal of a price for the prospective ride “get ready to be robbed”
Sounds pretty safe…lol
The concept of safety from this article is from 20 years ago, nowdays Peru has improved tremendously public security, there are surveillance cameras
everywhere and tourism feels safer when walking streets, overall Peru is a great destination to visit.
Crime exist everywhere including the so called developed countries. There is no paradise on earth.A great number of people have bias and make parrots comments.One professor of mine said “IGNORANCE IS VERY DARING”,what a wonderful dictum.
“There is no paradise on earth.”
He said nothing like this. He said that crime levels had improved and it was a great place to visit.
Come to certain countries in Europe and you would see what a really nice and peaceful country looks like. Peru is probably great compared to the Congo and South Sudan, but that’s hardly an accomplishment.
Get off your high and mighty horse there. Have you ever even been to Peru? Also, if you don’t like it so much, why are you reading and commenting on this article? I’ve been to many countries in Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Montenegro, Italy, and Spain), but Peru feels more personal and like a home to me.
Same Peru is where my family is from it’s my culture and it hurts when people judge it without ever going to Peru!!!!
I live in Europe and it is boring, Peru has great culture and a wonder of the world, Machuu Pichuu so shuush
This article is pretty biased. American friends were atonished to find so much security , policemen everywhere. We have nothing like that in the UK! The country relies on tourism and they are well aware of this, so you do feel safe. I am British and felt pretty safe but I am also street savvy and like I would do in any big city , did not wear or carry anything that would provoke people to mug me. That was it ! We had a wonderful time. Enjoy Peru!
A couple friends went there in August this year, they took a taxi from airport to hotel. Two thugs jumped into the taxi demanded the driver took them to remote area where they were mugged. 5 hours driven around from ATM to ATM afterward, the thugs let them go but without physical serious punched and slapped. The couple was dropped off in remote area at night, in the dark. They later went to police station, nothing the police could do to help.
That wasn’t really your experience though, was it.
That could easily happen anywhere, not just Peru and Peru is much better than visiting England
Great information, very helpful!
It’s a wonderful and safe place to visit in a group.
Lima is a wonderful city to visit. Miraflores is very safe to stay and walk around. Other places are safer to go accompanied and not be out alone at night. Pick pocketing is present, so be aware. The food is delicious. People in general are friendly. Only take a taxi that is recommended by your hotel concierge. Do not take a random taxi, especially at night from the airport to your hotel. It’s safest to travel in a group or reliable tour guide.
I am from Peru. I left 21 yrs ago, I thank God everyday for that.
For locals, its a daily nightmare. I went back. But at this point you can offer me a million dollars, I will never go back. Yes, they try to protect tourists. And still is even more dangerous dirty smelly and high in crime and scam than ever. Is a very expensive place, no reason for that…because most people are very poor there. Just ask about the presidents of the last 30 yrs… who were them, where they are and what they did… start there…
One more corrupt and criminal than the other. Some in jail, runaways, searched by interpol, and goes on and on and on…
As a Peruvian, I would recomend, go to The Netherlands, go to Israel, go to Switzerland. So many places where you dont have to walk in fear every step
Ur ignorant to think of peru like that peru is a beplace to visit u just have to go to the right places we are happy we dont have people like you any more
But you didn’t experience what she did, did you….
I think you are not Peruvian, I have lived there and it is VERY cheap and I think you are also stupid as Israel is a very dangerous place and Peru is a great place, Israel is basically a war zone
Lol You are right. “She” isn’t Peruvian. She just said she is so It looks worse for Peru.
okay bestie, then go to peru and live in a common area where common peruvian people live in <3 i want you to tell me the same thing once something bad happens to you 🙂
yall can't say nothing if u haven't at least spend 4+ years there
why r yall getting mad lmfao, different people have different experiences + with all that’s going on now? i’d say she is right, peru is not safe and even tho i can’t agree that the other places she said are safe *because i wasn’t born there nor visited* i can for sure say that peru is not as “safe”. We’re talking about ALL of Peru, not some rich places foreigners go to when they occasionally visit, maybe if u had to spend all ur childhood being warned of rapists and robbers u would AT LEAST try to understand her.
Peru is still a beautiful place to visit.
I am Peruvian, have lived in so many places in the world. 4 years ago, after 16 years, my husband and I went to Peru. My husband had never been in Peru. Yes I can not deny that there has been lots of changes, a bit surprised with the traffic, drivers do not respect the driving regulations. We arrived to Lima, I had family waiting for us, so it was safe to take a taxi with them. We decided to visit Cuzco, we invited a cousin to come along with us. Cuzco was beautiful, wonderful weather, great food, good hotels, until we got to Aguas Calientes , our hotel was cheap, not so clean place, we tried to get a better hotel, but they were all full, so we stayed one night in the hotel. We visited Machu Pichu, it was the greatest adventure to all of us, we came back down to Aguas Calients and took the train back to Ollantaytambo, we stayed in a bed and breakfast “La Casa de La Chola”, we had first class meals and bed to rest, it was beautiful, great service. From there we took a taxi for $30US dollars back to Cuzco, the taxi driver was very good and knowledgeable that he took us to lovely places to enjoy, We arrived at 12:30 direct to the airport, back to Lima, as we waited for our flight for almost two hours, the flight was canceled, no one had information for us, people got upset, did not make sense, at the end we realize the plane to Lima was waiting for more passengers to fill their plane, but did not communicate, we arrived Lima at 8:30 PM, the following day we were going to the central part of Peru for 5 days to visit with family. One thing I can say is that when you go to Peru, do not take anything expensive, always have change, always go in group or with someone, do not adventure alone. I was glad I had family and friends in Lima. Many talks about Miraflores, if you have enough money, it is the best place to stay, otherwise you can stay in central Lima, or other places for cheaper, just use common sense, and you can still have great places to visit and foods to eat, and have fun, besides there are other beautiful places to visit in the North, south, or Central Peru, you will find that people welcomes tourists with gladness, also as tourists lets be kind, give a good tip, talk with them, learn few Quechua, or Spanish words, and you will see how people responds to you.
thanks for the help! me and my 20 year old kids are planning on going next month
CUZCO, LIMA AND MACHU PICHU
HAD A GREAT TIME VISITING LIMA, CUZCO AND MACHU PICHO ENJOING THE TOUR WITH GREAT LEISURE. NO PROBLEMS WITH OUR GUIDE WHO KNEW EVERYTHING WE NEEDED TO SEE. PEOPLE WERE GREAT, PRICES REASONABLE AND CHEAP, GOOD, ART. HAD A GREL
Could you recommend your guide? If so contact information please. Want to go but would rather have someone that is local and can do translation. Just want to do the ancient archeological sites.
Peru is always a good time!
As a Spaniard, I was very surprised with Peru’s measures to ensure safety to both tourists and locals! But even overall being a much, much safer county than many others in Latin America, there are some places where you don’t want to be!
Lima and Callao: thankfully the most beautiful and historic places are highly safe to visit; however, some slums surrounding Lima and in downtown Callao are as dangerous as Detroit or Chicago. Also, while being in Lima Metro area, you might consider not to put your windows down while in the taxi. Pickpocketing might occur when your window’s down. And if you’re a female solo traveler, please don’t go alone in the middle of the night and always call a reliable taxi company (Satelital and Taxi Verde are the best!), for obvious reasons.
The North (Chiclayo, Trujillo, Piura, Máncora): This is my fav region in Peru so far, you really must give it a try! The best food in whole Peru, amazing beaches, warm weather, friendly people, incredibly archeological sites, eco-friendly tourism. And it’s pretty safe too! For what I’ve learned from female solo travelers there, it is the safest region in Peru for being female (take all the precautions, but you can feel way less paranoic). Beware of the scams in Máncora concerning crossing the border to Ecuador; if you wanna go up north, always buy directly from the bus company (CIFA), not “agencies”.
The Andean South (Cuzco, Puno, Arequipa): The most touristy region of Peru. It’s also the safest (ladies, beware of your cocktails while dancing in a disco down there, for obvious reasons!) because of all the police in the area. Pickpocketing in Cuzco is a thing, so be careful of your belongings. There’s a city nearby Puno called Juliaca very famous for its high crime rates, so avoid it. Apply common sense, and you are ready to go!
The Jungle/Eastern Peru (Tarapoto, Iquitos, Pucallpa): if you love nature and partying, this is your place! Imagine if they put the American South and Thailand in a blender: that’s the Peruvian jungle. Hot, humid, breath-taking landscape, the cheapest place to drink a cold beer and enjoy those little things in life, and lots of party! But you wanna take your precautions. Pickpocketing is common, also major crimes like kidnapping may occur if you expose yourself too much (these cities are not the right place to be drunk by yourself at 4 AM). In Iquitos and Tarapoto a lot of drugs are commercialized in the clubs, please avoid interacting with those people. Finally, be careful when riding mototaxis: if the unit is too old you might be involved in a traffic accident. Bonus: the Peruvian Jungle, unlike the American South or Thailand, is very LGBTQ+ friendly. If you belong to that community, you can feel at home, as locals are very open-minded and lots of LGBTQ+ discos and bars exist in the area. In both Tarapoto and Iquitos I saw same-sex couples holding hands and nobody seemed to care; that’s not common in Latin America, and I’m sure a lot of travelers may appreciate this.
Peru is always a good time!
I’m from Africa,but are love Peru so much and also the football team.I hope to vist Peru in the future.
Homicide rate in Peru is about 7-8/100000, compare to Europe about 1/100000 or USA 5/100000. Of course, few travelers are targeted.
Noise level – I’m from Finland originally and now living in Peru. I find the noise in Peru at times unbearable. High volume music played everywhere, traffic, cars honking their horns, car alarms going off all over the place through the night. Houses are built for the tropics so no isolation because of the climate, often no window panes, so no sound proofing either. Pray to god you aren’t staying near a church (non-catholic) because their services can be extremely noisy.
No heating and no warm water. Low quality building standards – I could always flush the toilet at home with confidence, in Peru when nature calls i have to bring a stick to make sure everything is sufficiently smashed up before flushing to not clog the toilet. Patience with the electric wall sockets – you have to adjust the plugs to find the spot where they connect, you don’t just plug them in, and them tread carefully not to dislodge them.
Food – in theory very varied, but in practice the typical peruvian food is chicken, rice and potatoes. Few vegetables, it’s a carnivorous country. A lot of salt, a lot of sugar. As a traveller with funds you can of course go after the variety that most peruvians can’t.
Towns are ugly outside the colonial center. The shabby look is partly a result of people not finishing their houses. They want a 2-storey house but really have funds for 1 only, so they build the first floor and hope to complete the house sometime later…Rich people live behind walls and electric fences – unimaginable in Northern Europe.
Peru is a lot nicer to visit than to actually live in. Some commenters say “use common sense”. Common sense may look very different for one who comes from a country where the police don’t carry firearms to one who comes from a place where they carry assault rifles.
You are right on PTS. And with the country being locked down for 7 months thing are not very pretty. My wife is peruviana and she fears going out even in daytime. Decent housing is the same as you would pay in the States. Produce is less but most meats are more costly. I don’t go out very often so it doesn’t matter but I’m still not allowed on the street because of my age. I fear things will be very dangerous if the country doesn’t open soon.
Bruh Peru is safe but avoid the dangerous areas.
Being aware in Lima
People who believe everything is safe probably are only visiting Miraflores, San Borja, La Punta, Surco in Lima. I had the opportunity to live three months in San Juan Lurigancho in 2019. I observed pick pocketing, a car chase down a person running and kidnap an individual, fights between others. I had someone try and take my wallet on the train. I know another Peruvian/American couple that was completely robbed from their taxi and all their luggage and money taken after leaving the airport in Callao and stopped inside the tunnel. My wife tells me Peru hasn’t been this bad but now you have all the Venezuelans moving into the country and that is changing everything. You really have to be aware of your surroundings people.
Peru is NOT a safe country. They are reckless drivers, accidents abound – you cannot be transported stress-free anywhere. The police is corrupt. Sanitation is terrible – you cant drink tap water, its common to find large mounds of rubbish in the streets, cholera is common and you cant throw toilet paper into the toilet. Slums are everywhere. If you go to tourist locations you should be OK, and people are very nice. But dont stray from the beaten path or take a cab or you are liable to get robbed or kidnapped.
A long way from the UK?
Ive been drinking tap water for months and never had issues. Not throwing paper in the toilet is normal anywhere in Latin America. Theres mounds of trash in every city unless you’re in Europe. Don’t pull out your phone or dress expensively and you’ll be fine even in poor areas
A down to earth view
Been here for months. Touristy areas like Miraflores and San isidro in Lima are safe as kittens. Areas like Chorillos, San juan de Miraflores, SJ de lurigancho aren’t safe. Use common sense and you’ll most likely be fine in both. Been living with a Peruvian family so I’ve been everywhere in the city. If you can’t speak spainish you should probably stick to more touristy areas
As My Wife and I prepare to go to Peru soon. We will be diligent and STREET SMART. It’s rough there like other countries but you CAN NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. We walk the streets at night. Criminals sense your Fear. Be Strong and Sure
Peru is worth it!
Peru is relatively safe,
I am from northern Europe and ofc northern Europe is safer.
Peru reminds me a lot of the US in terms of safety, large pockets are completely safe at all hours of the day, but if you venture into the wrong district of Lima you will quickly realize it’s time to turn back.
I have spent approximately 2 months in Peru and travelled around and i have not experienced any crime towards me, so you can safely go to Peru on vacation. I have gone to small towns around Peru, and to the worst neighborhoods of Lima, still i have not been targeted.
Dress modestly (dont show off you brand new Rolex), be relaxed and dont worry.
Just returned from Peru and Ecuador. Vacationed for three weeks. Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu , Quito and Galápagos Islands. Both Countries are very safe. We never felt uneasy. The people are very friendly. We travel Internationally often. I would highly recommend traveling to Peru or Ecuador. Both are beautiful countries. Great food and amazing history and beauty.
I took my daughters 16 &18 for a month trip on the Amazon. Arrived three days early and stayed at the Marriott in Lima. We had a blast walking around the public everyday. Still don’t think we saw everything. Also saw a large ancient excavation near the downtown area, sure it’s finished by now. Never had or saw a problem except around the presidential palace. First time I ever saw tanks on a civilian road.
It was a great visit. And the casino in the hotel lobby was a special treat, as was the local purchased Cuban cigars.